The arrival of an English translation for each Legend of Heroes game is something of a wait vs reward game. On the one hand we got this title after the East had already gotten their hands on its sequel, Cold Steel IV, but the game and indeed the series as a whole is of such quality that any Legend of Heroes title getting a Western release is a thing to appreciate.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel turned out to be one of the PlayStation 3’s late-great games and certainly one of the best JRPGs to have seen release in recent memory. Its cliff-hanger ending left players clamouring for more however, and with the long translation times for games in this series the wait has been sheer torture.
The end of the original single-player Phantasy Star series was a landmark title for Sega, shipping on a specially made cart and selling for $100, an amazingly high price for a Mega Drive title at the time. Phantasy Star 4 was very much the epitome of what Sega stood for at the time. Sleek, fast and in many ways ground breaking, despite garnering mixed reviews.
My hat goes off to Cartoon Network’s gaming department, which has followed on from ‘Steven Universe’ their first foray into the RPG genre with an equally impressive miniature slice of action in Teeny Titans, this time based on the popular modern series ‘Teen Titans GO!’
Released digitally onto PlayStation Network for PS3 and Vita here in the UK, Trails of Cold Steel is the start of a third trilogy in a series that’s had a spotty release schedule for western audiences but is finally starting to get the love it deserves through Steam and Sony’s various systems.
For those of us from Europe this game will always be known confusingly as ‘Final Fantasy Mystic Quest’, and for others in America its ‘Final Fantasy Adventure’, however in truth this game is at its best using its Japanese title ‘Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden’ marking it as the first entry into the massively popular ‘Mana’ series.
Another collectable card game and RPG hybrid hitting the mobile market isn’t normally something to get excited about. At this point the Android and iStores are flooded with titles attempting to successfully do just that and few of them manage to bring anything new or original to the table. Spellstone, the product of a group known as Synapse from Kongregate, manages to exceed all expectations.
There’s something about faux 8-bit graphics that (if done well) is enchanting to look at. Of late this style has been undergoing something of a revival and Cardinal Pixel is the latest game to combine simple character schemes with real-time lighting and effects to create something that stands out.
I’m deeply thankful to Elements for finally testing out an adventure mode because it allows me to legitimately write about one of my favourite games without having to bend the ‘RPGs only’ rule here at My Boxed Universe. Not that I intend to allow my personal experiences with this title sway me, this will be a fair and balanced review.
It’s hard to believe that Tactical RPGs were in a bit of a slump in the west prior to the release of Disgaea. The likes of ‘Final Fantasy Tactics’ had ‘Tactics Ogre’ had set a standard for the genre that was overly-serious and could at times produce lengthy, dry campaigns that required a significant investment in time to beat, even if those games produced great gameplay and narratives. Tactical RPGs were becoming dull and grey in tone. Then Nippon Ichi released Disgaea onto the world and everything changed.